An international award for youngsters inspires art and charity work
Fascinated by colour, the ability to express herself visually is a lifeline for Sanjna Srikanth, who has struggled with communication issues. Her paintings have been auctioned to raise funds for the Sunshine Autism Trust and the teenager is actively involved in raising awareness on disability and inclusion issues. The Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Award, which is given to inspirational young people worldwide every year and is headed by patron British PM David Cameron, was in recognition for this work.
Srikanth’s art combines bold lines and colours with a particular focus on patterns and motifs. Drawing inspiration from international masters including Picasso and Van Gogh, she has also been influenced by Indian artists such as Maya Burman and Madhvi, as well as the Madhubani folk form. Coming across Srikanth’s work for the first time, “I was mesmerized with Sanjna’s use of line and emotions,” says art historian Komal Khankhoje. In the last two years, Srikanth has held a solo exhibition and sale of her art, and donated work to auctions at the India Inclusion summit, and the Ability in Disability presentation at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
While her artistic journey began as a form of communication therapy, Srikanth hopes to make her hobby a full-time profession, and dreams of attending art college. Since moving back from the US four years ago, art classes at the Bangalore International School have pushed her to fulfil her potential. Srikanth’s art is available to browse online, and art lovers can send in queries via her website. A new exhibition of work is planned for 2015.
— Maegan Dobson Sippy